Slovenia denies excessive police force against protesters

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Slovenia’s interior minister on Friday dismissed allegations that police used excessive force to quell anti-government protests with water cannons and tear gas on the eve of a major EU summit in the country earlier this week. was used.

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The demonstration was the third in a month organized against virus measures and the use of COVID-19 passes, which included going to work at all state-run firms. People must show that they have either been fully vaccinated or have taken an expensive PCR test

Interior Minister Ales Hodge said in Brussels that “the police did their job very well” during Tuesday’s intervention and were “under their jurisdiction”. He said that the investigation into the police action is still on.


About 25 protesters were detained and many injured or hospitalized – mostly due to tear gas.

“The Director of Police has already ordered a commission in accordance with law, which will investigate the legality and proportionality of all means used by the police in these protests,” Hodge said.

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Officers in riot gear and on horses repeatedly used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters, who threatened to block roads as EU and Western Balkan leaders arrived for a meeting Was.

The clashes led to hours of chaos in the streets of the capital Ljubljana and a protest leader was taken into custody. party leader Zoran Stankovic threatened to sue the state, saying he was detained illegally. Stankovic’s home and his party’s offices were reportedly searched as part of a police investigation against the organizers of the protest.

There have been clashes with the police in past protests as well. On Tuesday, an AP video journalist was sprayed by a water cannon and hit in the head with an unidentified object during police intervention.

Hodge declined to comment on a possible case against Stankovic, saying it was in the hands of prosecutors. He insisted that the police intervention was not ordered by politicians, but instigated by protesters.

“The number of injured police officers, which was three times the number of injured protesters, clearly shows who did more than the jurisdiction,” he said.

The party has said they will no longer organize the protests, saying it would jeopardize their leader’s independence. The right-wing politician has denied that he was using public discontent over virus measures for political propaganda.

Like much of Central and Eastern Europe, Slovenia has seen an increase in new coronavirus infections in recent weeks. The country of 2 million people has fully immunized about 48% of its population, which is a small fraction compared to many other EU countries.

Slovenia currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.


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